By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Being a parent means giving advice and having awkward talks, like about money. It’s a topic most moms and dads think is important, yet only about a third of us discuss it with our children.

So, should we tell our kids how much we make? Good Question.

Money questions can be easy to sidestep, and harder to answer.

“The reality is, I think we’re asking parents the wrong question,” said Joyce Serido, who studies financial parenting at the University of Minnesota. “You should tell them how you spend the money that you earn, how you earn the money that you do, how I save the money — if something would happen, this is how we’d get by.”

Serido says it doesn’t have to be a big talk.

“I think we engage them in everyday conversations,” she said. “Your kid will say, ‘What are you doing?’ … ‘Oh, I’m getting ready to pay the bills.'”

Putting things in perspective can often make a difference, too.

“The best lesson a parent can do for their kids — this is how much I make, this is how much I get to take home,” Serido said. “There’s a big difference.”

Serido says how much a family shares depends on their values, and what they think their kids can handle. She says the key to talking about money is: When kids give you an opportunity by opening the converation, take it.


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